Local Businesses Honored at Statewide Small Business of the Year Event

Tuscaloosa County companies recognized by Business Council of Alabama, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama

Two local businesses took home top honors at Friday’s Small Business Awards of Alabama, presented virtually by the Business Council of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.

Achieving top honors was Chuck’s Fish/Five, recognized as the Small Business of the Year in the largest category the competition honors – businesses with 51 to 100 employees. Based on a variety of civic and professional standards, the partnership recognizes the best in Alabama small business.

Well known for delivering top-notch dining experiences with excellent food, stellar service, and great atmospheres, the sister restaurants owned by Charles Morgan III also support the community. Through American Lunch, a mobile soup kitchen operated several times a week, the restaurants provide access to a free healthy meal to anyone who needs one with no questions asked. Chuck’s also brings the community together through their annual Thanksgiving Feast, held at no cost but raising donations for Habitat for Humanity at the event.

In the 11 to 50 employee category, JNJ Apparel was honored with a Silver Award finish. The firm, which produces and sells Greek gear, company logo shirts, silk screen printing and custom business apparel, not only delivers fresh, original designs hand-drawn by a team of professional artists backed up by relationship-driven personal service, they also are passionate about the community they serve.

Not only do JNJ Apparel owners Michael and Nick Wright support numerous non-profit organizations, they also support those closest to their heart – their customers. JNJ converted their online platform, JNJ Marketplace, to assist small businesses hit hardest by the mandatory shutdown. Developed to sell collegiate products such as t-shirts to businesses and other groups, Michael and Nick quickly reconfigured the platform with a “Shop Local” campaign with

the goal of providing emergency funding to local businesses through donating a portion of the sale of each shirt back to the small business. Many of the businesses who participated in the online platform were bars, who were greatly appreciative of the revenue stream.

In addition to Chuck’s Fish/Five and JNJ Apparel, two finalists were also named from the West Alabama area. Eat My Beats was recognized as a finalist in the 1 to 10 employee category, and Session Bar was named a finalist in the Emerging Retailer category.

“We were thrilled to see businesses from our area honored at the Small Business Awards this year,” says Jim Page, President and CEO of the Chamber. “This competition represents the best of the best from across the state, and we are fortunate to have companies like these serving our community.”